How the Panthers won The Superbowl (on Twitter)

So the Broncos won #SB50. But, for me, it was the Panthers who put in a more impressive game performance on Twitter. Here’s my analysis of coverage in the window around the game.


The Panthers were slick and well-rounded. They followed the game play for both sides without great fanfare. But they were prepared to register their opponents. For example, have a look at this tweet when Cam Newton was sacked early on.

They retweeted their own staff reporter for a little opinion, touchline news and injury updates.

The Broncos clearly thought you were watching the game on television, which is the safest of assumptions. They were minimalist in their reflection of the game. The opening score, a field goal, was met with “+3, we’re winning”. There was no mention of Panthers scores and no tweet at all for 13 minutes late in the fourth quarter. 

It does depend what you like here. I understand the Broncos’ take and certainly their tweets of 10-15 characters where impactful. It had a style, a tone but it lacked consistency. If you are going to take the position of TV's bona fide 'second screen' then have the courage of your convictions. My preference was the Panthers’ realistic reportage which would have kept them more relevant amid the barrage on the average timeline.

Broncos 14 Panthers 16


The Panthers were never ahead in the game and that will always affect the nature of your content. But the “we have work to do” video graphic at the end of the first quarter was pitched astutely. “Keep Pounding” at the end was obvious but no less necessary.

The Broncos were more irreverent, supplementing key moments with pithy comments – in fairness on both sides.

“Doink” when the Panthers field-goal hit the post. And “we’ll edit that out” after their own team fumbled.

To their credit, they never gloated or got over-confident. The game never allowed that anyway but there was no hint of overstepping.

However tweeting a link to the Superbowl champions 2016 T-shirt before the final score was a huge slip. It was noticed by fans and, unfortunately, will be remember more than some of their hugely engaging work on the day.

Again, a Panthers’ win.

Broncos 10 (minus 5 for the fulltime tweet) Panthers 18


This was a clear win for the Panthers. Unfortunately they never scored enough meaningful points to spread their wings. The video graphic for Jonathan Stewart’s touchdown was beautiful and a cut above what the Broncos had prepared. I also liked the analysis of the touchdown graphic that followed shortly afterwards. It had a real virality to it. It was followed up by another at half-time.

The Broncos were more perfunctory with their visuals. Not wrong, just could have been better. But then maybe this was a reflection of the tone they took. The gif of the hyperventilating boy was a fair reflection of a game they always led but only fully controlled at the death.

Broncos 16 Panthers 19

Insider feel

Broncos did a fine job with their early vines of the team, the tunnel and build-up. They were in the midst of the players. At the end of the game, they excelled with video of celebrations, speeches and camaraderie.  Although the Panthers could not be so expansive, the Broncos shone here even in pregame.

Broncos 18 Panthers 14


Neither side retweeted their fans in game, except for when the Panthers shared Steph Curry’s early comment – and that hardly counts. Of course, this is arguably the biggest global sporting event of the year so the detritus could strangle a timeline.

Pre-game, this was a nice reaction to fans’ predictions and afterwards the retweeted positive messages about the team.

The Broncos doubledipped celebrities with this Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell retweet.

Both sides pitched it well enough here given the weight of fan interaction in the hours pre and post game.

Broncos 16 Panthers 16

Other thoughts

The Broncos were prepared enough for their victory but I found these a little uninspiring for such a big achievement.

However they followed it up with a series of up-close vines that brought you close to the celebrations.

I like the sportsmanship shown by the Panthers in defeat. There were a couple of video tweets showing respect to the Broncos and Peyton Manning.

Meanwhile a little philosophy and some thank yous go a long way when you have lost.

There was also interaction with other teams who had suffered the same fate.


Final score (out of 100)

Broncos 74 Panthers 83

Ronaldo - the first 200m footballer